How to cultivate IT talent remotely

Identifying and growing IT talent in remote and hybrid workplaces is a big change for IT leaders, who must rely more on metrics, emotional intelligence, and new remote skills to elevate the best from their teams.

How to cultivate IT talent remotely
Aleksandar Nakic / Getty Images

The pandemic proved that working remote works. People were productive — often more productive than they were in the office — and want to keep doing it. But if you were the kind of manager who led by owning a room and promoted people because you could see they were charismatic, dedicated, or natural leaders — qualities you watched them use — you might be feeling lost right now when it comes to knowing whom on your team you should tag for promotion.

When everyone worked in offices together, identifying talent involved “a lot of one-on-one interactions,” says Ryan Hicke, CIO of SEI. “We used a lot of processes, in terms of performance evaluations and rankings, but a lot of those were  influenced and driven by personal experience.”

Going remote changed that. Identifying talent is no longer a feeling. It involves metrics, emotional intelligence, and remote skills that are new and, quite possibly, uncomfortable.

I spoke to IT leaders who struggled with this and came up with solutions. Many of them discovered that, once you push through the change and embrace the right tools, strategies, and metrics, identifying talent is easier — and more egalitarian — when you do it remotely.

Here is their advice.

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